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How Marine Fish Signal Using Biofluorescence
By Ian Seldrup, May 29, 2014 @ 08:00 PM (EST)
Source: Science Daily

Researchers at the Institute of Evolution and Ecology, University of Tübingen, Germany, have shown for the first time that biofluorescent fish can perceive their own biofluorescence and use it for communication.

In the work, featured in the latest Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the researchers studied the behavior of the male red-eye wrasse (Cirrhilabrus solorensis), which is known to react aggresively when it sees its own reflection in a mirror. The scientists found that the fish lost interest in their reflection when a special filter was placed in front of the mirror that only blocked the fluorescent wavelengths emitted by the fish.

The team says that their experiments demonstrate that the red-eye wrasse perceives the biofluorescence in its own coloration. The researchers suggest that the fish switches the effect on to let other males know about its territorial claims.

The study is particularly interesting to marine scientists because it was previously believed that fish could not, in general, recognize the deep red part of the spectrum where this fluorescence resides.

Read more here.

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